MDC-T dossier chronicles ‘Chihuri violations’

January 20, 2012 at 9:36 am Leave a comment

Faith Zaba

PRIME MINISTER Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC says Police Commissioner-General
Augustine Chihuri should not be re-appointed as police chief because of his
alleged selective application of the law, numerous human rights violations
and partisan approach to law enforcement.
Chihuri’s actions, the party says, were in violation of the Global Political
Agreement (GPA).

Police spokesperson assistant  police commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena refused
to comment on the allegations.
“I will not comment on that,” he said yesterday.

In a 28-page document titled “Partisan Policing” detailing various
violations allegedly committed by the police between 1999 and 2011, the
MDC-T accused Chihuri of making inflammatory statements which undermine the
letter and spirit of the GPA.

The party quoted Chihuri on November 26 2010 saying: “…this country came
through blood and the barrel of the gun and it will never be re-colonised
through the pen which costs as little as five cents.”

Chihuri’s contract, together with that of Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander
General  Constantine Chiwenga, expires at the end of this month, while
Prisons Services Commissioner retired Major-General Paradzai Zimondi, Air
Force commander Air Marshal Perance Shiri and Zimbabwe National Army
commander Lieutenant-General  Philip Sibanda’s tenures end in February.

The two MDC formations have said they will fight President Robert Mugabe
legally, politically and regionally if he re-appoints the service chiefs
without consulting Tsvangirai.

The GPA stipulates that the president should consult the prime minister when
making key appointments.

The MDC-T has indicated that the expiry of the contracts gave the inclusive
government an opportunity to get rid of Chihuri, who took over from Henry
Mukurazhizha in 1991 as acting commissioner before assuming the position on
a full time basis in 1993.

Chihuri’s contract, the MDC-T said, was renewed 13 times since his first
term expired in 1997.

“Augustine Chihuri assumed the title of commissioner-general in January
2008. Despite assuming a new title, Commissioner-General Chihuri maintained
his partisan approach to law enforcement which he had adopted prior to
January 2008,” reads the document seen by the Zimbabwe Independent.

“In the months preceding the June 2008 presidential run-off elections, MDC
supporters were subjected to violence by state security agents and Zanu PF
supporters, which saw hundreds of them being brutally murdered.

“Despite overwhelming evidence of the violent campaign against MDC
supporters by state security agents, Commissioner-General Chihuri maintained
that the MDC was responsible for the violence.

“As a result of the Commissioner-General’s bias against MDC, none of the
perpetrators of violence against MDC supporters have been arrested and
prosecuted.”

Some of the cases outlined in the document,which alleges Chihuri failed in
his duties, include the murder of Tsvangirai’s driver Talent Mabika and
Tichaona  Chiminya, whom the MDC-T claims were killed by state spy Joseph
Mwale accompanied by Tom Kitsiyatota in April 2000.

MDC-T said despite a High Court ruling directing the police and the
Attorney-General (AG) to arrest and prosecute Mwale, no action was taken
against him by the police or the AG’s office and he has remained free to
date.

The MDC document also cited the abduction in 2000 of Education minister
David Coltart’s polling agent Patrick Nabanyama, who was kidnapped by 10
armed men driving a Mazda truck with no number plates.

He was never seen again and on August 11 2010, a Bulawayo magistrate
declared Nabanyama dead.
The police, the MDC-T said, have not apprehended the persons suspected of
having kidnapped and murdered him despite the fact that they had been
identified.

The party contends Chihuri has failed to act against police officers that
have been accused of fabricating evidence against its supporters.
One such example was that of six MDC supporters, including former MDC
legislator Fletcher Dulini-Ncube, who were accused of murdering war veteran
Cain Nkala.

The police staged a discovery of Nkala’s body, with the accused making
indications pertaining to the location of the shallow grave and purported
manner in which they murdered him.

In her judgement, High Court Judge Justice Sandra Mungwira found that the
police had framed the accused.

The MDC-T said despite the fact that Tsvangirai was assaulted at Machipisa
Police Station on March 11 2007 and sustained a skull injury, no one was
arrested in connection with the assault.

“Between the years 2000 and 2008, Chihuri’s police were involved in numerous
violations of human rights of citizens, most of who were perceived to be
opponents of Zanu PF, a party Chihuri has publicly sworn allegiance to,”
reads the MDC-T report. “During these years Chihuri’s police became a law
unto itself ignoring High Court orders when it suited them.”

On selective application of the law, the document said: “The selective
application of the law by the police  Commissioner-General since January
2011 have considerably compromised the letter and spirit  of the GPA, to the
extent that there is a clear paralysis of government rendering it almost
dysfunctional.

“Police Commissioner-General Chihuri has resorted to selective arrests of
victims of political violence in a manner which aids and abets the
perpetrators of violence.”

The document went further to say: “In addition, in violation of the GPA and
Section 16 of the Constitution, police Commissioner-General Chihuri has
wilfully refrained from acting on three police reports of criminal
misconduct that have been made against  Minister of Local Government, Rural
and Urban Development Dr IG (Ignatius) Chombo and to date the police
Commissioner-General has not acted on these. This reflects partisan conduct
on the part of Police-Commissioner General Chihuri.”

There have also been police reports against prominent businessman Philip
Chiyangwa and two senior Harare City Council officials, Cosmas Zvikaramba
and Psychology Chiwanga, who have been implicated in fraudulent acquisition
of public property, said the document.

This, it said, was in sharp contrast to the arrest of Energy minister Elton
Mangoma on March 10 and 25 2011 on corruption charges and that of
Co-Minister of National Healing and Reconciliation Moses Mzila-Ndlovu on
April 15 2011 for allegedly holding a meeting without authority. Mangoma was
brought to court in leg irons on April 19 2011.

The MDC-T also accused Chihuri of being partisan in the manner in which he
has dealt with political rallies and meetings organised by Zanu PF
opponents.

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